Tools & Resources
International Webinar for
Best Practices Sharing
On 10 October 2020, the Eco-Schools programme (ESP) co-organized the International Webinar for Best Practices Sharing in Between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia & Qatar. We were honoured to have Deputy Minister of Education Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon to deliver the opening speech. The webinar aimed to share and exchange ideas on best practices among Eco-Schools in Malaysia and abroad.
The virtual event was organised on Zoom and broadcasted on Facebook. About 1,180 students from 108 primary and secondary schools from all over Malaysia, teachers’ trainee colleges and universities, and teachers and students from the UK, the Philippines, and Turkey, participated in the event. Expert speakers were also called to share their knowledge of the programme and on environmental conservation.
The organising committee consists of three relatively new Eco-Schools from Penang. Similar to the Eco-Schools camp in Penang earlier this year, as well as conferences organised by schools in the Klang Valley in the past few years, the Eco-Schools Programme has empowered hundreds of students and teachers to take lead on sustainability initiatives. These champions invest time and energy to educate and empower the communities around their schools and homes. Our team is extremely proud of them, and we hope our training and sharing will continue to inspire actions and movements from these passionate people.
Eco Warrior Award 2020
Dr Lee Keok Cheong
Since 2017 we have recognised hundreds of individuals who go the extra mile for the environment in various ways through a platform called the Eco Champion Awards. This initiative rewards those who have been contributing to their communities with commitment and passion for the environment.
The award recipients were chosen based on their leadership skills to influence and change their communities’ views on sustainability views. They have played a significant role in guiding change for sustainable practices and have become a great inspiration to many other young leaders. This year we introduced a new category called Eco Warrior Award, which celebrates powerful allies to the environment with their primary aspiration to educate and empower.
One of the recipients was Dr Lee Keok Cheong, a well-recognized retired teacher trainer from Teacher Education Institute Raja Melewar Campus. Her tenure as an educator with the institute may be over, but she is still actively involved in educational initiatives, especially those organised by WWF-Malaysia. Through her participation, she has guided several schools in Negeri Sembilan, and Sabah to adopt the Eco-Schools programme. She is also part of the National FEE EcoCampus Committee for over five years. She has helped to support schools or campuses by providing content or training materials and present physically for conferences or workshops.
As an active committee member, Dr Lee has shared her years of teaching experience to develop modules, training frameworks, assessment guidelines, and has even conducted the Eco-Schools 7 steps methodology workshops in several schools. She also wrote training modules and was the trainer for teacher institutes, schools, and Penang Green Council. Currently, she is developing modules for pre-school level from existing frameworks to expand environmental education into younger hearts.
Some of the eco-initiatives or projects that Dr Lee has implemented in various institutions can be separated into two periods: before and after her well-deserved retirement. Before retirement, she has implemented Healthy Path, Solar Way and Car2Feet and GiveMeToys projects. After retirement, she has thus developed different programs to fit other target communities, for example, SustainMe and Mimosa Green Project.
The inspiration of all these tremendous and down-to-earth initiatives came from principles set by Dr Lee’s family. According to Dr Lee, she has been brought up not to waste any resources since their family were poor. They have to maximise the usage of everything. That was the key driver to every single eco-initiative designed by her. She treats every material on Earth as valuable resources that can be upcycled.
However, to implement several projects at one time at different scales was never an easy task nor a one-person job. Dr Lee too faced challenges in the process, but she sees every challenge as a motivation push to accomplish the projects and eco-initiatives into different communities. The significant difficulties included the approach to convince high-level administration or authority to buy the eco-initiatives she has designed. Financial and human resources issues are the two most common talks to be brought on the table to stop the eco-initiatives from moving forward. Another challenge from the ground is to get coworkers to help. Most of the time, people will reject the eco-initiatives as they have already been occupied by their respective workload and can be seen as an extra task for them.
To overcome the hardship and challenges while making sure the eco-initiatives were getting done on the ground, Dr Lee found that the best approach was to lead by example. She would carry out the projects on her capacity first and share the success to people around her, in a fun way. She also never gives up without trying. When there was a success story spreading around the community, the other people would jump on board to be part of the eco-initiatives.
One thing Dr Lee has learned in the long process and foresee to carry over into future inspiration was that determination was crucial in project management. Do not only learn in moving forward, sometimes unlearn and relearn can be another way to look at the challenges from another perspective. In her words to the young blood, “Never give up no matter how difficult and long the road ahead is. Strive to do better than the previous generation. However, never forget them on your journey, instead use them as your guide. Always refer to them and get them to lend you a helping hand whenever possible.”
Congratulations to all
Since 2017 we have recognised hundreds of individuals who go the extra mile for the environment in a range of ways. This initiative rewards those who have been contributing to their communities with commitment and passion for the environment. This year, the evaluation process was challenging because we received many outstanding nominations.
The award recipients were chosen based on their leadership skills in influencing and changing their communities’ views on sustainability. They have played a significant role in guiding change for sustainable practices and have become a great inspiration to many other young leaders.
Apart from a trophy and certificate, each award recipient received a seed grant to support their environmental initiatives in the pipeline. WWF-Malaysia appreciates their unwavering commitment and persistent work for sustainability.
Take a look at the winners!
New Deal for People and Nature:
Mobilising Youth for 2030
It has been an exceptionally challenging time for the past couple of months. Many plans had to be changed, and the new normal had to be adapted. As the Movement Control Order was still in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we converted the Sembang@WWF 2020 - a storytelling platform into our first virtual session.
This year, we held the event to celebrate World Environment Day. The platform allows youth leaders to speak on various environmental issues as we engage those who are passionate and fluent in the concepts of climate change and empower them to influence others. Speakers would usually speak on a stage in public, but this year they presented from the comfort of their home.
Riding on the wave of New Deal for People and Nature, we gathered seven storytellers and three expert speakers to speak on climate change and the impact of our consumption pattern on the environment. They also spoke passionately about the role of communities in environmental protection and how to mobilise youth to be at the forefront of a conservation agenda.
About 170 participants dialled in, and we were pleased to receive such support during this crisis. We hope with the knowledge gained, our young leaders will emerge stronger to tackle global challenges, from COVID-19 to the global climate crisis. To learn more about this initiative and our environmental education work, visit wwfmy-esd.com